In most of the epilepsies and epileptic syndromes, the decision to initiate antiepileptic drug (AED) therapy is often a far simpler one than the decision to stop it. The primary factor that drives a patient to want to discontinue therapy, and a doctor to endorse or recommend this, is a fear of long-term adverse events, a consideration that may be entirely justified as the side effects of vigabatrin and felbamate have proved. On the other hand, seizure recurrence with the attendant implications in employment, driving regulations and social stigmatization is a strong deterrent that discourages withdrawal of therapy. The absence of a clearer understanding of the natural history and prognosis of many individual epilepsy syndromes somewhat hampers the resolution of this dilemma. Hopefully, as our understanding of the epilepsies grows and the prediction of the chances of seizure relapse becomes a more precise science, stopping medication will become a less fraught exercise for both the patient and the doctor.